Tag Archives: healthy living

SUNDAY FINDS ON ETSY

Why do I love Etsy?  There are so many wonderful handmade and vintage items, you can find something for everyone on your gift list!  The best part is that your purchases are helping artists make their dreams become a reality.

Here are some gorgeous items I have found from some awesome Etsy shops, I hope you will take a moment and visit their Etsy shops, you wont be disappointed!

I found this beautiful sterling silver midi heart ring by MinimallyMeJewelry

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Minimalist, thin, delicate heart ring. Lovingly hand forged, soldered and polished.
I’m not sure about others, but to me it works perfectly as midi ring, pinky ring and toe ring. 3 in one kind of ring 🙂   The interior diameter of this ring is 1.5 cm – size 5. Please convo me if you need a different size.  My daughter loves hearts. I love my daughter. Therefore, math says I must love hearts…
Part of my “Heartbeat” collection.

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If you are a lip balm fanatic you will love the Lip Butter from VictoriasBoutiqueArt!

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WHAT IT IS
Luxurious lip butter with orange flavor goes on super smooth and adds a *mild* tint to bare lips or cheeks. With a variety of nourishing butters and oils, this lip balm is sure to become a must-have in your daily routine.

`*.¸.*✻ღϠ₡ღ¸.✻´´¯`✻.¸¸.Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ.. ღೋƸ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒღೋ`*.¸.*✻ღϠ₡ღ¸.✻´´¯`✻.¸¸.Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ.. ღೋƸ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒღೋ

Get cooking with these awesome wood burn spoons from HummingbirdCraftsLLC!

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Give the “cook” in your life a unique gift with handmade wood burned kitchen spoons. A truly special gift that will be remembered daily with love. This makes the perfect housewarming gift or hostess gift! A great addition to any kitchen! Wood spoons are strong, look nice and are able to handle high heat. Each spoon is wood burned by hand with a Pyrography pen and given special care to ensure a unique design and effect. A Hummingbird Crafts LLC original design! Hand washing is preferred. Both spoons have been sealed to protect.

`*.¸.*✻ღϠ₡ღ¸.✻´´¯`✻.¸¸.Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ.. ღೋƸ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒღೋ`*.¸.*✻ღϠ₡ღ¸.✻´´¯`✻.¸¸.Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ.. ღೋƸ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒღೋ

I know many of you love your pets and pampering them is a must, you will love these adorable cat beds from CatHouseRU!

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Cat bed easy to fold, you can take with you to the exhibition of cats and dogs, as well as on the road.- The lower part of the pet bed sewn from Raincoat fabric, which is enough to wipe with a damp cloth, if stained. – Pet mats Inside two layers of Padding polyester, making the pet bed soft and warm. – The upper part is made of strong Coarse calico, it is environmentally friendly, long does not spoil. – Pet bed is bright, colorful, practical – your Pets will be happy!

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I have a confession…I am a tea fanatic!  When I saw these beautiful tea post from CeramaStudio I had to share with you!

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This Black Owls tea set made of clay and painted by hand.
The owl is a symbol of prosperity, wealth and wisdom. It is believed that the image of an owl protects people from excessive and unnecessary spending.
Tea kettle with pottery mugs – a beautiful and useful things in everyday life, a nice gift.

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I love art prints, and anything that is unique and has to do with coffee!  This BT FIRST COFFEE print from MyColorMood is a must have!

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BUT FIRST COFFEE printable poster – ampersand sign digital print. This modern and minimal black and white typography print with an “Ampersand girl” drinking the tastiest morning drink will be an excellent decor for your living room or office. Start your morning with coffee, start your morning with ampersand, start your morning with beautiful printable wall art! 🙂

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Need a unique gift?  These teacup planters from flowerfilledweddings are beautifully unique!

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Grapevine teacup planter with grapevine forming a saucer and cup attached together. Rim and handle are covered with green moss and trimmed with natural rope. Sewn in liner.
Create your own tea party, bridal shower, luncheon or gift floral centerpiece with these trendy planters.
Set of two teacup planters.

`*.¸.*✻ღϠ₡ღ¸.✻´´¯`✻.¸¸.Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ.. ღೋƸ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒღೋ`*.¸.*✻ღϠ₡ღ¸.✻´´¯`✻.¸¸.Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ.. ღೋƸ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒღೋ

For the music lover why not a Music Notebook by Sunbrilo.

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Music notebook, Moulin Rouge, Handmade recycled LP vinyl record notebook, vintage vinyl handmade journal music, retro wedding guest book.
This original vinyl record journal is completely handmade with love by me.
It could be a perfect gift for a musician, a music lover or anybody who loves making notes on paper and appreciates handmade objects!

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I hope you will visit these wonderful Etsy shops and show your support by buying handmade!

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Etsy find of the day….

I truly adore yoga, and found a shop that creates organic linen meditation cushions and various yoga products. Check out PurePranaLabel on Etsy!

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Organic meditation cushion/ zafu Dots, powder pink by Pure Prana Label. Organic Linen and eco friendly dyes.

Dots are such a happy pattern, this cushion reminds you of living your life light! The powder pink is a very trendy color at this moment and is lovely with natural colors.

This meditation cushion is made from high quality linen from Germany, it is 100% organic and no chemicals have been used. It comes with an inner cushion, made from unbleached organic linen cotton, made by a little family company in India.

There is no filling included. You’ll receive these covers by normal mail and have to fill them yourself. This will give you the option to re- use a filling you already have or to pimp your old zafu.

You can visit Cindys shop here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/PurePranaLabel?ref=l2-shopheader-name

STATTEAM BSP sign up!

It’s almost time for the STAT Team BSP (Barter Sales Promotion)!!! The BSP will increase the number of “sales” in our shops and get your products in the hands of other STAT Team members…talk about great promotion! Plus, it is so much fun…it’s like shopping (early Christmas shopping perhaps?!) Get your “BSP” $5.00 item listings up soon because our BSP will kick off on Monday, July 25th!!!

Here is the link for our STAT Team BSP sign up…Add your name and shop URL to the bottom of the post:
http://www.statteamartistsonetsy.blogspot.com/p/bsp-sign-up-page.html

Remember to sign up by July 24 11:59 p.m….

This blog post was contributed by Jessica of Eco-Friendly Freckles; one of my dear friends and one of the team leaders of the AWESOME Etsy STAT Team!
You can find Jessica on Etsy here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/ecofriendlyfreckles

My adventure with Kombucha Scoby Tea

I know, I know, enough with the tea already! Well, the tea I am talking about here is nothing like the good ol’ sweet iced tea your thinking of! The last month now I have embarked on a “Healthful Living” journey and was introduced to this crazy named tea by my friend Jessica from Ecofriendlyfreckles on Etsy
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You can purchase your own Kombucha Scoby at Ecofriendlyfreckles on Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/listing/73932864/healthy-living-organic-kombucha-scoby?ref=pr_shop
There are many of us who are waiting a return to healing measures that are close to nature; also remedies and foods of unnatural origin and away from industrial packaged and so called “Healthful” products. This may be one of the reasons for the great attractiveness and fascination of the healthful beverage called Kombucha. Communalities of yeasts and bacteria have been used by people, and applied for their well-being, since ancient times in all the world for the creation of health-promoting fermented drinks and foodstuffs.

Something interesting I have read is in the Bible Ruth 2:14, it reads: that the land-owner Boas invited the Moabite Ruth, who later became his wife, during her gleaning of grains: Come over here and eat some bread and dip your morsel into the vinegar-drink! And she sat down beside the reapers; and he reached her parched corn and she ate and was sufficed and left.”
This biblical report from around 1000 B.C. not only gives us a hint of their exemplary nutritional habits, although they were modest by our perspective, we see from it also that, even at that time, people prepared beverages with microorganisms of lactic acid and how they served the people for strength and refreshment during the hard work of harvesting.

I have to admit, when my Kombucha arrived in the mail, I was a bit amazed and bewildered with what this actually is and what it looks like! But, having already been drinking Kefir Grains which is fermented milk I thought “What the heck” and gave this a shot. I took the Kombucha out of the plastic bag…. it looked like a wet, slimy mushroom and followed the directions on how to create my tea. The Kombucha culture looks like a beige or white rubbery pancake. It’s often called a ‘scoby’ which stands for ‘ symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeasts.The culture is placed in sweetened black or green tea and turns a bowl full of sweet tea into a bowl full of vitamins, minerals, enzymes and health-giving organic acids.

As the Kombucha culture digests the sugar it produces a range of organic acids like glucuronic acid, gluconic acid, lactic acid, acetic acid, butyric acid, malic acid and usnic acid; vitamins, particularly B vitamins and vitamin C; as well as amino acids, enzymes. And of course there are all the benefits of the probiotic microorganisms themselves. The Kombucha culture is a biochemical powerhouse in your kitchen.

After a few days when the “TEA” was ready I poured a small glass and studied it very carefully. The color was beautiful, it smelled like tea but maybe a bit stronger and cleaner to me. I took a small sip….. it was actually very delightful! I was surprised by this to say the least, how could anything so crazy looking taste good??? But then look at cheese, if you think about it cheese goes through some not so lovely stages before it becomes a delicious and gooey pizza topping!!!

You might wonder if fermenting tea with yeasts would produce an alcoholic beverage. It’s a good question. The yeasts do produce alcohol but the bacteria in the culture turn the alcohol to organic acids. Only minute quantities of alcohol, typically 1% by volume remains in the kombucha brew.

With every brew you make the kombucha forms a new layer or scoby on the surface of the liquid. These can be left to thicken the scoby or can be divided, giving you spare cultures that you can store in some sweet tea in the fridge in case something should happen to your active culture. Or you might want to pass on spare Kombucha cultures to friends or use a new scoby to start another batch of kombucha.

So what exactly is Kombucha? Kombucha Tea is a biological active product fermented with a living culture to become a natural living food high in enzymes. Scientific research shows the benefits of Kombucha, whose high concentration of probiotic-rich acids can provide a powerful energy boost, as well as detoxify and cleanse the blood of disease-causing toxins, allowing the body to alleviate a wide spectrum of ailments and conditions; from the mildest indisposition to the most serious diseases.

You make Kombucha by fermenting tea and sugar with the kombucha culture. The result can taste like something between sparkling apple cider and champagne, depending on what kind of tea you use. It’s not what you’d imagine fermented tea to taste like.

The origins of Kombucha have become lost in the mists of time. It is thought to have originated in the Far East, probably China, and has been consumed there for at least two thousand years. The first recorded use of kombucha comes from China in 221 BC during the Tsin Dynasty. It was known as “The Tea of Immortality”.
A Korean physician called Kombu or Kambu treated the Emperor Inyko with the tea and it took his name, “Kombu” and “cha” meaning tea. Russia has a long tradition of using a healing drink called “Tea Kvass” made from a “Japanese Mushroom”. It was also used in Japan and Russia. From Russia it spread to Prussia, Poland, Germany and Denmark but it seems to have died out during World War Two. After the war Dr Rudolph Skelnar created renewed interest in kombucha in Germany when he used it in his practice to treat cancer patients, metabolic disorders, high blood pressure and diabetes.

How is Kombucha good for your health? Many health claims are made for kombucha but there is less research on the benefits of kombucha than there is on fermented milk products. It has certainly been shown to have similar antibiotic, antiviral and anti fungal properties in lab tests. In rats it’s been shown to protect against stress and improve liver function. There is a lot of experiential evidence from people who have been using kombucha over many years. Many of the benefits reported include improvements in energy levels, metabolic disorders, allergies, cancer, digestive problems, candidiasis, hypertension, HIV, chronic fatigue and arthritis. It ‘s also used externally for skin problems and as a hair wash among other things. Scientific research shows that drinking Kombucha tea regularly has been shown to benefit the human body by:

* balancing the metabolism
* cleansing the blood and regulating pH levels
* improving liver, gall bladder, and digestive function
* detoxifying the body and enhancing the immune system
* raising overall energy level

So what exactly does Kombucha have in it?

Lets start with the Organic Acids:
Glucuronic acid
The body’s most important detoxifier. When toxins enter the liver this acid binds them to it and flushes them out through the kidneys. Once bound by glucuronic acid toxins cannot escape. A product of the oxidation process of glucose, glucuronic acid is one of the more significant constituents of Kombucha. As a detoxifying agent it’s one of the few agents that can cope with pollution from the products of the petroleum industry, including all the plastics, herbicides, pesticides and resins. It kidnaps the phenols in the liver, which are then eliminated easily by the kidneys. Kombucha can be very helpful for allergy sufferers. Another by-product of glucuronic acid are the glucosamines, the structures associated with cartilage, collagen and the fluids which lubricate the joints. It is this function that makes Kombucha so effective against arthritis.

Lactic Acid
Essential for the digestive system. Assist blood circulation, helps prevent bowel decay and constipation. Aids in balancing acids and alkaline in the body and believed to help in the prevention of cancer by helping to regulate blood pH levels.

Acetic Acid
A powerful preservative and it inhibits harmful bacteria.

Usnic Acid
A natural antibiotic that can be effective against many viruses.

Oxalic Acid
An effective preservative and encourages the intercellular production of energy.

Malic acid
Helps detoxify the liver.

Gluconic Acid
Produced by the bacteria, it can break down to caprylic acid is of great benefit to sufferers of candidiasis and other yeast infections such as thrush.

Butyric acid
Produced by the yeast, protects human cellular membranes and combined with Gluconic acid strengthens the walls of the gut to combat yeast infections like candida.

Types of Tea for Kombucha
Kombucha requires tea for its fermentation (Camellia Sinensis). That’s real tea not herbal tea. It can be also be sensitive to strong aromatic oils. A tea like Earl Grey that contains Bergamot oil, can sometimes kill or badly affect the culture. There are several different kinds of tea that give different results from lighter tastes to stronger more cider like tastes.

Black Tea
Black tea is made from leaves that have been fully fermented. The leaf is spread out and left to wilt naturally, before being fired, producing a deep, rich flavour and an amber brew.

Oolong Tea
Oolong tea is half way between green tea and black tea. It’s gently rolled after picking and allowed to partially ferment until the edges of the leaves start to turn brown. Oolong combines the taste and colour of black and green tea.

Green Tea
Green tea is withered then steamed or heated to prevent oxidation and then rolled and dried. It is characterized by a delicate taste, light green colour. The Japanese tea Sencha makes an especially fine kombucha.

White Tea
White Tea is the rarest and most delicate of tea. Plucked forty-eight hours or less between the time the first buds become fully mature and the time they open. Unlike black and green teas, white tea isn’t rolled or steamed, but simply aired dried in the sun, this preserves more of its antioxidant properties. White tea has about three times as many antioxidant polyphenols as green. White tea represents the least processed form of tea.

Kombucha will reproduce itself with every batch

Once you have one culture going to work on about three quarts of sweetened tea, you will double the number of cultures in your possession with every batch. That’s right. You are dealing with a living process that reproduces itself. Once a robust culture has made a batch of beverage, which takes between 8 and 14 days depending on several factors, including personal taste and potential therapeutic value, the culture will have duplicated itself in the process. Now you have two cultures. Two more weeks and you have four, and on it goes.
Before long you can be almost overrun with Kombucha cultures-you may even run out of friends and relatives to give them to! This is why the old babushka called the healthy drink “free.”

Ordinary Lipton’s tea bags will do, although we prefer organic Oolong tea and organic green tea. You can make the beverage with Green tea and herb teas as well. However the Kombucha culture does not do well with fruit teas or in teas that have essential oils.
Green tea and to a lesser extent, black tea, provides all the components and growth factors required by the Kombucha culture additional to sugar, including the important stimulant components, caffeine and theophylline, which belong to the purine groups required by the micro-organisms as a source of nitrogen for building nucleic acids, and which green tea reportedly provides more than twice that of black tea, and which phenomenon explains the 25% diminishing caffeine levels in Kombucha as fermentation proceeds, rendering it more suitable than tea in pregnancy. Green tea also contains vitamin-C, whereas black tea does not. In symbiotic exchange, Kombucha produces B-spectrum vitamins and additional vitamin-C, just a few reasons why green tea is superior to black for Kombucha production. Kombucha symbiont requires the purin from the tea for its metabolism, during which uric acid, which is generally difficult to dissolve and which leads to gout, is turned into an aqueous solution, more easily discharged from the body via the bladder.

PROCEDURE FOR THE PREPARATION of Kombucha

It’s best if you begin first with two litres (2 quarts). When your Kombucha culture has grown big enough and has reproduced itself, you can produce larger quantities of the beverage.

1.- Make tea in the ordinary way. Per litre (quart ) of water, infuse 2 teaspoonfuls (about 5 g = 0.2 oz) of black or green tea in freshly boiled water. You may also use tea bags. Let the tea leaves “soak” for 15 minutes. Green tea comes from the same plant as black tea and is distinguished from it principally by the way it is processed: it is not fermented. Japanese doctors found out that green tea prevents cancer growth. I would suggest to use green tea for the Kombucha beverage. If you don’t want to use black or green tea you can also use herbal teas.

2 – Strain off the tea leaves through a sieve, or remove the tea bags from the water, as the case may be.

3 – Add about 70 – 100 g (2+ – 3 oz) of white sugar per litre (quart) of water into the filtered infusion before it has cooled. Stir the tea so that the sugar dissolves totally. 1 tablespoon of sugar is about 20 g (0.7 oz).

4 – Let the sugared tea cool down to a temperature not higher than 20 – 25 degrees Centigrade = about 68 – 77 degrees Fahrenheit (lukewarm). The culture dies when it has been placed in a hot nutrient solution.

5 – When the tea has cooled to room temperature, pour the solution into a glass, china, glazed earthenware or stainless steel container. Glass is best. Metal containers of other types than stainless steel are unsatisfactory and should never be used because the acids formed may react with the metal. You could also use a high-grade synthetic material of the polylefine group, e.g. polyethylene (PE) or polypropylene. Wine or cider is also kept in containers made of this food-grade material. However, you should avoid containers made of polyvinylchloride (PVC) or polystyrene.

6 – If you prepare your first Kombucha drink, add the liquid that you got with the culture. On all later batches, always keep enough Kombucha drink to add about one tenth (10%) of the quantity to your new batch as a “starter liquid”.

7 – Place the live Kombucha culture in the liquid.

8 – Cover the mouth of the fermentation container with a cheesecloth, a tea towel, paper towel or similar light cloth to keep out fruit flies, dust, plant spores and other pollutants. Tie it down with a large rubber band to ensure that fruit flies can’t get in. The cloth must be porous enough to allow air to circulate so the culture can breathe, but not so porous that tiny fruit flies can get in to lay their eggs.

9 – The fermentation should proceed for 8 – 12 days, depending on the temperature. The higher the room temperature, the faster the fermentation. The period of 8 – 12 days is given merely as a guide. The Kombucha culture needs a warm and quiet place and should on no account be moved. The temperature of the tea should not fall below 68 degrees F (= 20 degrees Centigrade) and not rise above 86 degrees F (=30 degrees Centigrade). The ideal temperature is about 74 to – 80 degrees F (=23 – 27 degrees C). Light is not necessary. The culture also works in darkness. The culture may be damaged by exposure to bright sunlight. Half shade is better. During the process of fermentation the sugar is broken down by the yeast and converted into a gas (CO2) and various organic acids and other compounds. It is the combination of these processes which gives the Kombucha beverage its characteristic flavor. The infusion is at first sweet but this sweetness disappears as the sugar is broken down. At the same time an acid flavor begins to develop as a result of the activities of the bacterium, so there is a transition from sweetness to sourness. If a slightly sweet drink is preferred, the fermentation has to be stopped earlier. For a dry or slightly acid flavor it has to be continued longer.

10 – When the tea has attained the right acid degree (pH 2,7 – 3,2), depending on individual taste, remove the culture with clean hands. Clean the culture under cold or lukewarm water. Fill new tea into the jar and add the culture immediately. Respect the right temperature of the tea. Pour the beverage into bottles, which should be filled to the brim. Keep about one tenth (10%) as starter for the next batch. Stopper the bottles securely. I don’t think it necessary to strain the fermented beverage through a cloth. A certain amount of sediment is normal. It is due to the growth of yeasts, which produced the gas which aerates the beverage. The yeasts are said to have some desirable positive effects on the human organism.

11 – To find ultimate satisfaction in this drink it should be allowed to mature for a few days (at least 5 days), after having been bottled. The activity of the bacterium is stopped because the bottling excludes the air, while the yeast continues to work. If the bottles are securely stoppered, the gas produced by the yeast’s activities, is unable to escape. Thus an effervescent drink is produced. For this a few days in the bottles is usually sufficient; the Kombucha beverage, however, will keep well for months. Do not worry: The yeast will stop the gas production at a certain point. It is advisable to keep the beverage in a cool place.

12 – The drink has an agreeable taste. It is sparkling, slightly sour and refreshing. One normally drinks three glasses a day, one glass (4 to 6 ounces or more) on an empty stomach in the morning, the second glass after a meal in the course of the day, and the last glass a short time before going to bed.

13 – When you start a new fermentation process, never forget to add to the new tea at least 10 % of the liquid from a cultivation which has already fermented.

IMPORTANT POINT TO BE NOTED

Sometimes the culture floats on the surface, sometimes it sinks to the bottom of the liquid. Both is OK. When the culture sinks to the bottom a new culture (a baby-culture) will begin to grow on the surface of the tea. For more details see page 33 of this book. The Kombucha culture needs some time to reproduce itself. It begins with a thin and filmy layer. The longer you leave it in peace, the thicker the new culture will grow. Because the growing of a new culture needs more time you should separate it from the preparation of the beverage that you want to drink. Please allow the new culture on the surface of the liquid 3 to 5 weeks to grow.

The Kombucha culture grows and covers the surface of the tea completely. While growing on the surface of the tea the culture thickens considerably. The thickened culture will be composed of easily separable superimposed layers. The layers can be peeled off one from another and each can be used as independent units for the production of Kombucha beverage.

If the culture should sink to the bottom of the vessel, a new culture will form on the surface of the tea. In this way each culture will continue to propagate itself until it gradually begins to turn a dark brown color. When it is dark and dirty brown discard it and replace it with one of its offspring. Thus this unique culture can provide you and your family with an ongoing supply of Kombucha tea at very low cost.

My Earl Grey Tea addiction…

Hello, my name is Hippie Chic Jewelz and I am addicted to Earl Grey tea….. in mass quantities…. I can’t tell you how this happened or why, but I can tell you when it happened and what I have learned from my 13 cups a day habit. Most everyone who knows me will tell you I used to be a “Water Only” drinker, occasionally indulging in a glass of milk from time to time or an occasional “Peach Tea” while dining out. It all began when I was feeling a bit under the weather, my throat was sore and I headed to the kitchen to raid my sons stash of herbal teas his grandparents gave him.
I was actually hunting for some “Oolong tea”, it is my hot tea of choice, however I was totally bummed when I found that there was not a single packet of Oolong to be found. Drats, so I found a few packets of Earl Grey, you must understand that I will only drink super stout tea, if the spoons stands up by itself when I place it in my tea-cup, then its perfect! I put my mug of water in the microwave for 2 minutes, burn my hand from the hot water sloshing around, say a few choice words and decide to add three Earl Grey tea bags…. all I can smell is a floral note that reminds me much of Lavender… I happen to love lavender so I am thinking to myself this Earl Grey tea can’t be all that bad. Five minutes of steeping, a dash of Splenda and a teaspoon of lavender infused honey and I am head to my studio desk to contemplate being creative. The cup of tea is staring at me, the lovely floral notes are calling my name…. I wonder to myself if this tea is going to compare to my occasional treat of hot Oolong tea, by far it surpasses my expectations…. I am immediately addicted!
I am intrigued by the many flavors of this tea, it is so different and fascinating. I grab the lap top and immediately head to Etsy, and find some Earl Grey tea that I just have to have! I find an Earl Grey Creme tea from Teasandtapestries An absolutely delectable tea! Imagine, the sour flavor of bergamot oil in Earl Grey tea softened by a background hint of cream. This mellow tea tastes great hot, with a pinch of sugar. The cup delivers profound depth, making the balance of bergamot and cream completely lovely.
I decided I wanted to know more about Earl Grey Tea and its many health benefits, I was amazed at what I had learned!

Earl Grey Tea as an Antidepressant
Bergamot, the key ingredient in Earl Grey tea, is often used to treat depression. The Crystal Garden in Florida reports on the aromatherapy benefits of bergamot. It is used to treat depression, stress, tension, and fear, and consuming it in tea form may offer some soothing and relaxation during troubled times.

Earl Grey Tea as an Antioxidant
Black tea has long been consumed for its antioxidant properties, and Earl Grey is just one of black tea that works well in complementary medicine. Antioxidants are important for reducing the amount of damaging free radicals in the body, so consuming just one cup per day could ward off infection, disease, and illness.

Earl Grey Tea as a Fever Reducer
The American Botanical Council reports on the history of bergamot in Italian folk medicine, and the plant itself is grown exclusively along the coast of Calabria, Italy. (Source: American Botanical Council ) Bergamot is widely used to reduce fever and intestinal problems, and may even improve digestion for a weak immune system. If you’re suffering from a fever, a cup of Earl Grey tea can provide instant relief with its soothing, fever-reducing properties.

Earl Grey Tea as a Relaxant
Many types of Earl Grey tea contain hints of lavender with bergamot, which can be especially relaxing and soothing. When you need to de-stress in the middle of the day without falling asleep, a cup of Earl Grey can be the perfect choice. The caffeine in Earl Grey is minimal, so it won’t create the heart-racing effect of coffee or espresso but will provide clarity and focus instead.

Earl Grey Tea to Improve Oral Health
Bergamot is also famous for its antiseptic properties, and may reduce the risk of oral infections to improve overall oral health. Although black tea can stain your teeth, the antibacterial and antiseptic properties can promote a clean and healthy mouth. The Tea Palace of the U.K. explains that bergamot can help fight halitosis and oral infection (Source: Tea Palace).

Earl Grey Tea for a Caffeine Kick
Perhaps the most obvious reason to enjoy a cup of tea is for the caffeine; Earl Grey contains a about half the amount of caffeine as a standard cup of coffee, and this can be enhanced by brewing a cup with multiple tea bags. You can further amplify the effects with sugar or honey.

From reducing stress to boosting your mood, Earl Grey tea is a valuable choice anytime you need some soothing and comfort. When you need just a hint of caffeine to get through a slow afternoon, a cup of tea may be just what you need to get through your day in a healthy way.

I can only tell you that I feel much better having started drinking Earl Grey tea, my overall mood has lifted and I feel ready to take on the world! If you are searching for a tea, I highly recommend Earl Grey!

My adventure with Kefir Grains

About a month ago I saw a beautiful photograph of an item in my friend Andrea Scott’s Etsy shop, Story Book Artifact:http://www.etsy.com/shop/StorybookArtifact?ref=seller_info
This beautiful picture piqued my curiosity and I had to read exactly what was in this sweetly decorated jar… I clicked on this item and it read “Kefir Grains”… All aside, I am a hippie and I will take the natural route when it comes to healing rather than the standard “Better living through chemistry” prescription drugs, however I had NEVER heard of kefir Grains, ever.
Now I am intrigued after reading her item description for these “kefir Grains”:

“In comparison, Kefir grains are unlike pricey probiotic capsules generally found at most health food stores because of it actually being a LIVING organism. Meaning that it regenerates itself and grows along with you and your family for many generations to come: way beyond the years of a family pet. ;o)~

Kefir is full of beneficial bacteria that aids as a natural probiotic for your intestinal flora, and thereby builds up your body’s immunity. It has been found that kefir is an effective immune stimulant and antimicrobial against a wide variety of harmful gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. Composed of around 400 strains of beneficial bacteria found in the intestines, kefir’s microbes serve as a natural clean-up crew for your intestines, and are essential for the proper absorption of many vitamins and minerals. Kefir also has an abundance of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and enzymes. Some of the more noteworthy of these are calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin B2, and B12, vitamin K, A and D. Tryptophan, an essential amino acid found in kefir, has been found to have a relaxing effect on the nervous system.

The heirloom kefir grains of mine produce abundant amounts of kefir product; unlike most batches available today. These grains shall produce a wonderful kefir in either Goat or Cow’s milk.”

So now the wheels are turning in my brain, why have I never heard of this before and what are the benefits of these Kefer Grains? I had to investigate this further and was very surprised and excited about what I had found out about these wonderful grains!

Kefir, the miracle food, is known as a superb probiotic source. With rich probiotic content, it automatically has a positive effect on our bodies. Kefir and Kefir grains have been around for centuries and centuries back, and all for a good reason.

Over the last couple of weeks while studying and experimenting on kefir and kefir grains, I have compiled a list of the known benefits that kefir grains are most likely able to cure.

I have personally seen many of these health benefits throughout the past few weeks and I really do hope it helps you too.

Here are some of the known kefir health benefits:

Strongest natural remedy against any allergy
Strongest natural antibiotic without side effects
Treats liver disease
Treats gallbladder, dissolves gall bladder stones
Clears the body of salts, heavy metals, radionuclides, and alcoholic products
Cleans the body of chemical antibiotics
Treats kidney stones
Good bacteria in kefir are able to fight off pathogenic microorganisms
Lowers level of LDL cholesterol
Cleans the gastrointestinal tract
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Treats gastritis
Treats pancreatitis
Treats ulcers
Prevents and treats colon cancer
Improves digestion
Improves the body functions
Improves the human immune system
Cures Candida
Cures hypertension
Stops growth of cancer cells
Speeds up healing process
Treats psoriasis
Treats eczema
Treats inflammatory diseases
Reduces size of tumors
Treats heart disease
Reverses calcination of blood vessels
Clears the blood vessels
Boosts the bodies energy
Natural “feel good” food
Treats lung infections
Normalizes metabolism thereby can be used as for weight loss
Cures acne
Has anti-oxidants and anti-aging properties
Nourishes hair
Treats the gum disease parodontosis
Lessens effects of medicines
Replenishes body of good bacteria after antibiotic
Balances the microflora of the body’s digestive system
Regulates blood pressure
Lowers blood sugar
Lowers blood lipid levels or cholesterol and fatty acids
Treats diarrhea
Treats constipation
Promotes bowel movement
Anti-stress properties
Treats sleeping disorders
Treats depression
Treats attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
Improves the brains neuro functions like reflexes, memory retention, attention, the five senses
Reduces flatulence
Lactic acid fermentation enhances the digestibility of milk based foods. People who cannot otherwise digest milk, can enjoy the vital calcium rich Kefir.
Treats yeast infection
Eliminates vaginal odors
Cures wrinkles
Treats arthritis
Treats colitis
Treats gout
Cures migraines
Treats rheumatism
Treats other stomach disorders
Detoxifies the body
Improves protein quality of milk, and enhances absorption and digestion
Good bacteria manufacture B vitamins such as B3, B6 and folic acid.
Aids in treating tuberculosis
Treats stomach cramps
Treats chronic intestine infections
Treats liver infections
Treats asthma
Treats bronchitis
Treats sclerosis
Treats anemia
Treats hepatitis
Healing effects on catarrh, digestive nodes, astral nodes, bilious complaints
Treats leaky gut syndrome
Prevents metastasis
Cures bad morning breath
These are just some of the wonderful benefits of Kefir Grains.

If I have your curiosity peaked, I am sure the first question you will have would most probably be the exact one I had….”What does it taste like?” and “I wonder if I can drink this stuff…” I can tell you that I was surprised when I mixed my first drink with a dash of real vanilla extract, lavender honey and some splenda (yes, I like SWEET anything!) and chilled it for about an hour… it does have a slight tart taste but it reminded me of those little “Pro-biotic yogurt” drinks you can buy from the store, truth be told, this actually tasted better! I have even gone as far as to make smoothies with this, adding everything from mango’s, banana’s and strawberry’s! My kids, they LOVE Kefir Grain smoothies, I do, too!

If you suffer from any of the ailments I listed and you have about given up hope that anything will help you, I say give Kefir Grains a try, what do you have to lose?

If your thinking about trying them, visit Story Book Artifacts shop and Convo (message) Andrea, she is a wonderful and sweet young woman who is just a pleasure to do business with!

Andrea’s Etsy shop is filled with hand-crafted greeting cards, loose leaf tea blends, all-natural storybook-themed cookies, original drawings, sketches, and paintings, personalized storybook portraits on canvas, and probiotic heirloom kefir grains.
I will post a slide show of some of the delightful items I have found in her shop.

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Upscale Strawberries!

A deliciously sweet treasury with a hint of Rock-a-billy Flair! This treasury was created by Brusesa on Etsy, she did a beautiful job featuring some mouth-watering must haves!

‘Upscale strawberries are now available to all. Whether refreshing, bright, adorable.’ by BRUSESA

Upscale strawberries are now available to all.The aroma of strawberry, as he beckons, and recalls the long-awaited hot summer. Invite a summer to myself.


Strawberry fabric earrings i…

$7.00

Handwoven Red & White Phone …

$9.00

Belamy Stripy Lace Shawlette

$49.50

Berry Bowl and Saucer from T…

$13.00

Heart Necklace

$13.99

Jumbo Strawberry Cream Cupca…

$5.00

Strawberry Avalanche Origina…

$10.00

Red Butterfly Charm Bead Ear…

$10.00

LOVE squared

$40.00

Red, Black and White Embroid…

$28.00

Faux Strawberry Doll Cake Sc…

$60.00

Polka Dot Heart Earrings

$6.50

FLAMENCO ORIGINAL oil painti…

$1500.00

Kiss-kiss-kiss.Bobby pins. S…

$17.00

Set of 6 Fabric Covered Butt…

$2.95

Vintage red love plastic str…

$25.00

Treasury tool is sponsored by Lazzia.com A/B image testing.

Meet Eco-Friendly Freckles

Meet Eco-Friendly Freckles artist, Jessica Woody. Jessica is another one of my favorite artists.  Jessica enjoys creating handmade items and utilizing materials that she  recycles  to make her products; thus whatever was probably going to end up in a landfill somewhere is now part of a beautiful work of art.

All of Eco-Friendly Freckles hand-painted items have a glossy black background and small white freckles, hence the name “Eco-Friendly Freckles”.

Jessica  dedicates her aspiring venture to her mother, Vicki, who once was a creative and imaginative crafty lady .

Besides recycling and making art, Jessica  also enjoys organic-heirloom gardening, studying natural health, aromatherapy and herbology, yoga, cooking, camping, biking, picnicking, long walks and talks, going to art galleries, bed and breakfasts, thrift stores, yard sales, antique shops, and mom-and-pop restaurants.

You can see more of Jessicas artwork here:

http://ecofriendlyfreckles.blogspot.com/

http://www.etsy.com/people/ecofriendlyfreckles